Birds at the Family Wild Dragonfly House

I’ll keep editing this post as time rolls on.  It’s a list of the birds we are seeing on our land, and links to learn more about them.  Enjoy!   The White-Crowned Sparrow means spring is really here–they come through in fairly large flocks of 15 or so and are gone in a few days.  They’re not very afraid of folks!  We had a turkey vulture come and scope out our bird feeder, perching on the electricity pole for a time right by the house.  They’ve been making fly-by’s over the newly deforested fields, too–when they go over, all the little birds scatter.  These little guys are so lovely, especially in the winter.  They don’t appear often, and are very shy. One of my favorite feeder birds.  In the winter, they won’t even move much when we feed. These little ground feeders are also harbingers of spring here–we had over 40 on the ground on 4/15/17.  They love hiding in the downed cedar trees. We have seen both white-breasted and Yellow Breasted Nuthatches here Ah, life lived running straight down a tree!  Our favorite joke about the American Robin is when they are hunched in eight inches of surprise Spring snowfall: “Wait until I get a hold of my travel agent!” These big guys look like they were designed by Pacific Northwest artists–all black, white, red and bold.  They are very adept at managing suet squares swinging away in 40 mph winds! The Downy woodpeckers are smaller than the Hairy Woodpeckers, but no less bold with the suet!  🙂  They seem to like the company on the Black Capped Chickadee and the spring’s Dark Eyed Junco. The Northern Cardinal and his mate were such beautiful birds, especially backlit with snow and cedar trees.  I’ve only seen one pair so far. This is one of the species that can be hunted, but I don’t let it happen.  I love the deep, mournful calls and the activity around the feeder.  Yes, I’ve been told they are delicious.  Tough. Every so often, we get a fly-by over the new fields.  They are spectacular and making a huge comeback in Northern Michigan. One day, I had 15 birds walk through the back yard, all in single file when they moved. They spread out to feed a bit, then disappeared into the deeper woods, again in a line.  Lovely. Just starting to see these guys occasionally over the field. These are the most brilliant birds on the property–small splashes of sunshine! These ducks have just been fly-by’s, but with all the water this spring, I won’t be surprised to see them digging around in some of the seasonal ponds. Lots of fly-bys–they are everywhere here in Northern Michigan, but still beautiful when they create their honking “V” in the sky. Just the last few years, these cranes have started flying over, and some small pairs and groups staying well into summer.  This never happened when I was a child growing up in Northern Michigan.  Interesting.  We often hear larger groups of them, especially in the spring. This spring, it has been fun to watch the mating dances in the yard around the suet feeders.  Three or four at a time, bowing and bobbing.  Lovely. Last summer, we did get a couple of these little visitors to our hummingbird feeders.  Hope to see more of them this year. I love these guys–so smart. I call to them, and they call back.  We usually get them over the fields and in the surrounding trees. Very, very rarely they will come to get corn on the ground by the feeders. These big old birds are smart and observant.  We scare them up a lot on the property and they come to the feeder in the wintertime.  But make one move at the window and BAM! they are gone. One of these predators swooped through our feeder area last summer, picking up a Chickadee in mid flight and not even slowing down.  Breathtaking.  Literally. Already had to edit the blog today!  A pair of Purple Finches just stopped by the feeder.  Nice splash of color against the green, brown and gray today.  Lovely orange and black splash of color at the feeder today.  Showed up on May 12, 2017, drawn to suet.  I’m going to get some fruit based suet for them! We have two of these males coming to the feeder quite regularly. Adding sunflower seeds and thistle have really increased the population of critters. you have to look carefully at this bird to tell it apart from a flicker. They are a little smaller, and don’t have the black half-moon on their chest. This is a lovely bird, with bold and distinct coloring. Much bigger than I “expected.” The female came in to the feeder–talk about a bird who looks like a dinosaur! Lovely! They don’t land, but we often see them circle over the seasonal ponds in our newly-exposed field.

ttps:// These were a surprise–I was used to seeing them perched on cattails all along Michigan roadways. I think the open field drew them, as well as the abundance of water. This one tackled a Bluejay on the ground and was it ON! The two aren’t much different in size, and soon the battle drew a whole tree of screaming Bluejays.

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